Conservationists will repopulate Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou National Park with black rhinos before the end of the year, bringing the critically endangered animals back 27 years after they went locally extinct.
The Gonarezhou Conservation Trust has hired 39 game rangers, mainly from areas around the park, and trained them to protect the returning rhinos. South Africa’s CAJ News reports the animals first went extinct in the area sometime in the 1930s or 1940s.
A similar reintroduction project between 1969 and 1977 saw rhino numbers increase to about 140 before a civil war in neighboring Mozambique caused the park to close. By 1994, the rhinos were extinct there again.